My friend Sarah and I used to joke that we had reverse body dysmorphia.  We never thought we looked so bad with some extra weight – until we saw a picture of ourselves.  I’m particularly good at rationalizing my way into looking fine from the Front View.  The Rear View?  Who needs it? 

Alas, I was reminded of this again today when I pulled up the photos from this weekend’s race.  I had a wonderful time in Minneapolis, and my friends and I really enjoyed the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon (Sprint Edition).  It was a sunny day, low 70s, and the course was gorgeous.  We started in Lake Nokomis, biked around the lake and along the Mississippi River, and then ran around the lake for a loop before finishing to cheering crowds.  The volunteers were extraordinary, the race was really well-organized, and I didn’t finish last (which is always a good feeling).  In fact, I felt wonderful on the swim, challenged a bit by the hills on the bike, and even managed to feel good on the run.  And my finishing times, while not what I’d hoped for, were still good enough that I was feeling okay heading into Chicago in August.

And then, today, I saw those damn pictures.  Without going into details, the picture of the woman who appears to be running that race is NOT the picture I have in my mind of how I look when out on the run.  Or on the bike.  Or DEFINITELY coming out of the water.   She looks like she swallowed the Charmin Man, and then had a snack.  Sheesh.

Fortunately for me, there are plenty of other positives to consider.  First, I can honestly say that I’m consistently exercising 5 days a week, which I was not doing 4 months ago.  Second, I felt really, really good when I finished that race – far better than I felt after my last half marathon, and better than I expected to feel in general. Third, I am paying more attention to what I’m putting in my mouth, and focusing on eating healthier – admitting that I’m still losing the battle of chocolate addiction, but still…

In all, I’ve come away from the weekend feeling pretty good about where training is heading.  I’m VERY glad to say that a few key lessons (increasing my running turnover/cadence, and reducing my running interval times) helped a lot.  I’m also glad that no children were harmed in the viewing of this body while running (which could have been possible).

In the end, I benefited from a really great crew of friends being on the course on race day.  My friends Lisa and Val completed (and dusted me!) in their first-ever sprint triathlons, and at least one of them is a new convert! And my other friends Sarah and Jen brought family to cheer us on – AND I eve got to run with their two little kids on the course (now I know why parents do that with their children – what a great feeling!).  And in six weeks, I’ll try to double my fun with the Chicago race. 

In the meantime, I’m going to buy just one of those pictures, and put it on my fridge for a little motivation. 

See you on the path!

2 thoughts

  1. Thank you for your blog. I am a fellow plus size athlete/runner. I do 35-40 miles per week at an average of 10min/mile but can’t seem to shake loose that sz.14 flab. I almost died laughing when I read the part about looking like you swallowed the Charmin Man. I can’t tell you how tough and strong I feel out running and then to see a pick from a race, oh god. My fat roll waving in the breeze no matter how baggy the clothes are.
    I also am a pacer for the GR marathon, love to be active, have a self asteem issue with my weight, and can’t imagine life without running.
    Thank you for this blog, your spirit and confidence is inspirational.

  2. Thanks, Bree! Isn’t that feeling on a run amazing? I just wish we could bottle it without someone else’s visual!

    So you pace GR – is that Grand Rapids? I hear it’s one of the best races in the midwest – great course, great support – and I’m always impressed with anyone with the gumption to run a full marathon! Congrats on staying fit and keeping with the mileage – who cares if we look like FOC (Friends of Charmin) – we’re out there, right?

    Thanks for sharing – your story is exactly what I KNOW exists in the running world – and one we don’t hear enough of all the time!!!


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